Category Archives: The Arts

Community invited to Student Honors Recital at Pellissippi State

Graphic with female singing into a microphone and the word Music below.

Pellissippi State Community College features its outstanding student performers at the annual Student Honors Recital on Tuesday, March 3.

The concert, which begins at 7 p.m., is in the Clayton Performing Arts Center on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. The event is free and the community is invited.

“The annual Student Honors Recital features outstanding performers, both Music and non-Music majors, who are studying in private instruction, either in voice or on an instrument,” said Bill Brewer, Music program coordinator. Students are chosen to perform based on the recommendations of their instructors.

“The recital will include both vocalists and instrumentalists performing a wide variety of musical selections. The audience can expect to hear Italian operatic arias, German art songs, Broadway musical favorites, classical instrumental selections from a wide genre of styles, and even some folk and jazz.”

The Student Honors Recital is one of the performances in Pellissippi State’s 2014-2015 Music Concert Series. The series is part of The Arts at Pellissippi State, which brings to the community cultural activities ranging from music and theatre to international celebrations, lectures, and the fine arts. This year, the arts series commemorates Pellissippi State’s 40th anniversary.

All piano presentations and accompaniments are performed on Steinways, in keeping with Pellissippi State’s status as an All-Steinway School.

For additional information about the college’s Music Concert Series or The Arts at Pellissippi State, call (865) 694-6400 or visit www.pstcc.edu/arts. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action at (865) 694-6607 or humanresources@pstcc.edu.

Pellissippi State: Winter Choral Concert features Karns and Heritage high school choirs

Pellissippi State Community College showcases guest choirs from local high schools at the annual Winter Choral Concert Tuesday, Feb. 24.

The concert is at 7 p.m. in the Clayton Performing Arts Center on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. The event is free and the community is invited.

“Our annual winter concert always features two local high school choral groups,” said Bill Brewer, Music program coordinator. “This year, our guest choirs will be from Karns High School and Heritage High School. This annual invitational concert gives us an opportunity to host high school singers who might attend Pellissippi State and join our choral program.”

Both of the guest choirs perform 15 minutes of music. The event also includes singing by Pellissippi State’s Concert Chorale and Variations Ensemble.

The Winter Choral Concert is one of the performances in Pellissippi State’s year-long Music Concert Series. The series is part of The Arts at Pellissippi State, which brings to the community cultural activities ranging from music and theatre to international celebrations, lectures, and the fine arts. This year, the arts series commemorates Pellissippi State’s 40th anniversary.

All piano performances and accompaniments will be performed on Steinways, in keeping with Pellissippi State’s status as an All-Steinway School.

For additional information about the Pellissippi State Music concert series or The Arts at Pellissippi State, call (865) 694-6400 or visit www.pstcc.edu/arts. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action at (865) 694-6607 or humanresources@pstcc.edu.

Pellissippi State, Board of Regents recognize Clayton family for support

Row of 5 people, 2 holding awards
Pellissippi State Community College and Tennessee Board of Regents presented the Clayton Family Foundation and Clayton Homes with the Regents Award for Excellence in Philanthropy at a legislative breakfast Friday, Feb. 9. Pictured, from left, are TBR Chancellor John Morgan, Clayton Homes vice president of corporate services David Jordan, Jim Clayton of Clayton Family Foundation and Clayton Bank and Trust, TBR board member Danni Varlan and Pellissippi State president L. Anthony Wise Jr.

Pellissippi State Community College and the Tennessee Board of Regents recognized the Clayton Family Foundation and Clayton Homes for their support of higher education at a state legislative breakfast in Knoxville Friday, Feb. 6.

Danni Varlan, a TBR board member, presented the Regents Award for Excellence in Philanthropy to James L. Clayton of the Clayton Family Foundation and Kevin Clayton of Clayton Homes. TBR is the governing body for Pellissippi State and all of the state’s other community colleges.

“Clayton Homes and the Clayton Family Foundation truly epitomize the spirit of the Regents Award,” Varlan said. “Their contributions to numerous institutions in East Tennessee have enriched the fabric of our community. The Clayton foundations together have awarded over $40 million to hundreds of charitable organizations, giving back to the generations to come.”

A $1 million donation to the Pellissippi State Foundation from the Clayton Family Foundation and Clayton Homes supported two major projects: the Performing Arts Center and the Blount County Campus. The gift to the Performing Arts Center in 2008 resulted in the 500-seat facility’s renaming to the Clayton Performing Arts Center. The donation to the Blount County Campus, which opened in 2010, went for the purchase of equipment and furniture.

“Support from the Clayton family has been so much more than bricks and mortar,” Varlan said. The Claytons’ philanthropy and generosity have benefited various programs, campaigns, and funds, including Music scholarships, The Arts at Pellissippi State, art and cultural program funds, the Student Emergency Loan fund, and the Greatest Need fund for students, among others.

To find out more about the Pellissippi State Foundation, including opportunities to give, visit www.pstcc.edu/foundation or call (865) 694-6528.

Pellissippi State invites community to ‘Caribbean Festival’

steel drum band playing in building

Pellissippi State Community College invites the community to celebrate diversity at the Caribbean Festival, 5:30-8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 26.

The event is free and takes place in the College Center in the Goins Administration Building at Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. The Caribbean Festival will feature performances by the Carib Sounds Steel Band and the Caribbean Dancers of Atlanta. Guests can sample Caribbean foods, including jerk chicken and rice and beans.

The Caribbean Festival is sponsored by Pellissippi State’s Access and Diversity Office. The event is part of the college’s Black History Month celebrations. Other related events during February include

  • “Walk, Don’t Ride,” a presentation by The WordPlayers, 9:40-11:40 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 17, at the Magnolia Avenue Campus
  • African-American Read-In, a recitation celebrating the works of African-American authors, all day Wednesday, Feb. 25, at the Division Street Campus

In addition, all five Pellissippi State campuses will be celebrating Black History Month with displays highlighting African-American activists, artists, writers and history. African coffees and teas will be served at special morning meet-and-greets each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday throughout the month.

For more information about the Caribbean Festival or other Black History Month events, visit www.pstcc.edu/diversity or call (865) 694-6400. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources at (865) 694-6607 or humanresources@pstcc.edu.

African-American modern art topic of Pellissippi State faculty lecture

male smiling, standing in front of brick hallway

Herb Rieth, a faculty member at Pellissippi State Community College, presents a lecture titled “Flip, Flop and Freestylin’: Art of the African Diaspora in the 20th and 21st Century” at the college at 3 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 12.

The event is free and open to the community. The lecture takes place in the Goins Building Auditorium on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

“I’m going to be talking about the history of African-American modern art,” said Rieth, an assistant professor in Liberal Arts, “especially from the 1960s Civil Rights Movement and onward.”

His presentation will feature discussions of the works and lives of artists Kara Walker; Willie Cole; Yinka Shonibare, MBE (Most Excellent Order of the British Empire); and Kahinde Wiley.

Rieth’s presentation is just one event in the Faculty Lecture Series. The lecture series is part of The Arts at Pellissippi State, which brings to the community cultural activities ranging from music and theatre to international celebrations, lectures, and the fine arts. This year, the arts series celebrates Pellissippi State’s 40th anniversary.

For more information about The Arts at Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu/arts or call (865) 694-6400. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources at (865) 694-6607 or humanresources@pstcc.edu.

‘Elasticity’ brings award-winning contemporary artist’s ‘organic’ installation to Pellissippi State

picture of a person walking through colorful art exhibit display.
Artist Crystal Wagner’s room-sized installations are unique at each site. Pictured is a previous installation titled “Immersion.” At Pellissippi State Community College, Wagner will have an installation titled “Elasticity,” which will be exhibited from Jan. 19-Feb. 20.

“Elasticity”—a room-size multimedia exhibit that its creator, award-winning artist Crystal Wagner, describes as “fast forward to 2050, where plastic grows by itself”—is scheduled for display at Pellissippi State Community College Jan. 19-Feb. 20.

Visitors can experience Wagner’s mesmerizing exhibit, which takes a full week just to set up, in the gallery of the Bagwell Center for Media and Art on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. Gallery hours are 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. The exhibit is free.

A reception takes place 4-7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 5.

“‘Elasticity’ is a conduit,” Wagner said. “It explores ideas related to human beings and the increasingly severe divide between themselves and the natural world by growing—as if the art itself were a life form—through the gallery.

“More and more of our natural world seems alien to us, but there’s a strange familiarity and attraction to the forms that people categorize as exotic. Even in our attempt to keep the outside ‘out,’ plastic plants occupy small corners of people’s homes.”

According to Nastia Voynovskaya in “Hi Fructose” art magazine:

“[Wagner] creates deceptively natural-looking environments with paper and other materials purchased from dollar stores and office supply chains. Whether working on drawings, installations or printmaking, Wagner begins all of her work with an organic mark, allowing shapes to emerge and multiply like moss or fungus from another planet.”

Wagner, who earned an M.F.A. from the University of Tennessee in 2008, is represented by Hashimoto Contemporary in San Francisco. This year, her work has been exhibited in California, Florida, Hawaii, Canada and England.

The artist recently won the Sculpture and Installation category at the SeeMe “Art Takes Paris” international competition (www.see.me/blog/art-takes-paris-winners). She has been featured in “Juxtapoz Art and Culture Magazine” and on the contemporary art blog www.arrestedmotion.com.

“Elasticity” is one of the events that make up Pellissippi State’s arts series, The Arts at Pellissippi State. The series brings to the community cultural activities ranging from music and theatre to international celebrations, lectures, and the fine arts. This year, the series commemorates Pellissippi State’s 40th anniversary.

For more about The Arts at Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu/arts or call (865) 694-6400.

Band of stage fighters at Pellissippi State takes on Renaissance Festival

2 people fight with swords in Renaissance attire
In the photo, Steve Trigg, left, engages in a mock sword fight with Thomas Crout. Crout plays character Captain Pickle and Trigg plays Beryl Plectrum Codpiece Knackberry Folderol.

Stage-fighting students at Pellissippi State Community College took their unique combat skills to the next level when they performed recently for the East Tennessee Renaissance Festival.

“Our stage-fighting course is unique in Tennessee,” said Charles R. Miller, the college’s Theatre program coordinator and a professor of Liberal Arts. “We have one of the top two-year Theatre programs in the country.”

Students in the stage-fighting course learn the skills to perform mock combat for theatrical purposes. Participants are a mix of full-time students and people from the community enrolled only in the class.

The fighters from Pellissippi State—Greg Congleton, Jordan Cook, Carolyn Corey, Thomas Crout, Julianna Meyers, Steve Trigg and Debi Wetherington—worked as “street characters” at October’s Renaissance Festival in Harriman. Several also performed on stage twice a day in “In a Pickle,” a comedy stunt show, and all honed their skills in “Human Combat Chess,” featuring theatrical sword fighting.

“We were aiming for the highest level of quality and safety available,” said Barrie Paulson, vice president/manager and entertainment director of the East Tennessee Renaissance Festival. “These students from Pellissippi State were cast in lead roles. The word after the performances was that even though the student actors were new, they more than held their own beside other professional stage acts.”

Earlier this year, 10 students at Pellissippi State passed the skills proficiency test of the Society of American Fight Directors. It was the first time the test had been administered in the state in almost 20 years.

In the video, Debi Wetherington and Jordan Cook take part in the Human Combat Chess Match. Jordan plays William Black and Debi plays Mary Tailor, two characters who are engaged to be married, but pitted against each other in the chess match. The video shows their unwillingness to hurt each other even as they are forced to appear to battle.

The college’s stage-fighting course is taught by Bob Borwick, the only SAFD certified instructor in Tennessee. Borwick teaches exclusively at Pellissippi State. Paulson served as a volunteer fight assistant in the course. She, too, passed the SAFD exam earlier this year.

Miller, who taught the stage combat class for years, says he gladly stepped aside for Borwick’s expertise: “Bob has so much great experience, and the quality of our Theatre program comes first.”

“It turned out to be a great opportunity for me to keep current with my stage-fight skills and to scout quality actor-combatants for the Renaissance Festival,” Paulson said.

Paulson and the Pellissippi State students tested with Dale Girard, an SAFD fight master and director of stage combat studies at North Carolina School of the Arts. By passing the exam, the students earned a much sought-after skill status in the world of professional theatre.

The course to prepare for the SAFD skills proficiency test is THEA 2222 Special Topics (Stage Combat), and it will be available again in spring 2015. Business and Community Services also is offering a non-credit Stage Combat course.

“I would love to see Pellissippi State’s Theatre program become the place for stage combat training in East Tennessee, and the place talent scouts target for expertise,” Paulson said.

For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State: Arrive early for complimentary tickets to popular Holiday Spectacular

Female ballerina with other ballerinas in the back and lit christmas trees

Join in the holiday cheer at Pellissippi State Community College’s hugely popular annual Holiday Spectacular concert, offered in two performances, 6 and 8 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 4.

Part of Pellissippi State’s Music Concert Series, the Holiday Spectacular is free, and the community is encouraged to attend. Because space is limited, the college asks that guests arrive 30 minutes before each performance to receive a complimentary ticket. Tickets will be issued at the door to the first 485 guests, and having a ticket guarantees a seat.

The Holiday Spectacular, whose theme this year is “A Candlelight Christmas Evening,” takes place in the Clayton Performing Arts Center on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. The concert features the talents of more than 150 Pellissippi State students and faculty in eight different musical ensembles, performing classical choral numbers, bluegrass, and jazz.

“The concert will feature exciting production numbers full of bright visual displays, as well as more quiet, intimate carols by candlelight to celebrate the warmth of the season,” said Bill Brewer, Music program coordinator.

“Every audience member will leave the show with a taste of holiday cheer.”

The Music Concert Series is part of The Arts at Pellissippi State, which brings to the community cultural activities ranging from music and theatre to international celebrations, lectures, and the fine arts.

While all events in the series are free, donations are accepted at the door for the Pellissippi State Foundation on behalf of the Music Scholarship fund.

For additional information about the Music Concert Series or The Arts at Pellissippi State, call (865) 694-6400 or visit www.pstcc.edu/arts. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action at (865) 694-6607 or humanresources@pstcc.edu.

Pellissippi State presents world theatre premiere of ‘Server Alley’

graphic of waitress holding food with server alley label above

Pellissippi State Community College hosts the world debut of “Server Alley,” a comedy/drama by playwright Alex Gherardi, in November.

Performance times are 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 14, 15, 21, and 22 and 2 p.m. on Nov. 16 and 23. The event takes place in the Clayton Performing Arts Center on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

The play has a unique setup, in that audience members are seated on the stage near the actors. Seating is limited. Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for seniors and students. Tickets are available at www.pstcc.edu/tickets.

The never-before-seen play examines the lives of an oft-seen but barely noticed group: the people who serve our food.

“The story focuses on young people at a time of their lives when they are deciding what they want and who they want to be,” said Charles R. Miller, Theatre program coordinator and a professor of Liberal Arts. “The characters in this play ask themselves if their lives are really what they wish them to be, or if they want to take the chance on something that might be better.”

Alex Gherardi is executive director of CNY Shakespeare in Central New York and is an adjunct faculty member at Pellissippi State. A graduate of Rutgers University, he is now living in Knoxville.

“We are so honored to show the world premiere of a play he wrote while in Knoxville,” said Miller. “Alex is hugely talented not only as a playwright but as a composer and an actor himself.”

“Server Alley” is one of the events that make up Pellissippi State’s arts series, The Arts at Pellissippi State. The series brings to the community cultural activities ranging from music and theatre to international celebrations, lectures, and the fine arts. This year, the series commemorates Pellissippi State’s 40th anniversary.

For more information about The Arts at Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu/arts or call (865) 694-6400. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources at (865) 694-6607 or humanresources@pstcc.edu.

‘Who Are You (Really)?’ topic of Pellissippi State faculty lecture

portrait of male with fall landscape behind him

The community is invited to join in a philosophical discussion Nov. 12 at Pellissippi State Community College focusing on the essence of “you.” The presentation is part of the 2014-2015 Faculty Lecture Series.

Frank Mashburn, an assistant professor of philosophy at Pellissippi State, presents “Who Are You (Really)? Some Insights From Philosophy and Film” at 2 p.m. The free event is in the Goins Building Auditorium on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

cartoon of male holding a frame that says bonafide philosopher“The theme is, what is it that makes you ‘you’?” Mashburn said. “Some people think what makes you ‘you’ is the matter you are made of—and if that matter changes too much, you will cease to be ‘you.’ Some people think that what makes you ‘you’ has to do with your organic brain or your collection of memories. For others, your soul is what essentially makes you ‘you.’

“I will discuss these positions and show some powerful clips from films that showcase these important philosophical positions.”

The topic might seem mundane, but, he says, determining who you are, and what makes you who you are, is one of the most important questions anyone can consider.

“After all, you are ‘you’ every single day. When we attempt to answer that question, we can find ourselves wonder-struck: this life that might have seemed so boring could actually be complex and wondrous.”

“Who Are You (Really)?” is one of the events that make up Pellissippi State’s arts series, The Arts at Pellissippi State. The series brings to the community cultural activities ranging from music and theatre to international celebrations, lectures, and the fine arts. This year, the series commemorates the college’s 40th anniversary.

For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources at (865) 694-6607 or humanresources@pstcc.edu.